|When the Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust wanted to give a gift of plants, locally sourced from Rarangi Beach, east of Blenheim, they came to Oratia. Not only could we provide an eco-sourced species, it was also a plant which had since disappeared from the region!
This is the Trust's story.
» Click here for details
- bonsai workshop
Bonsai workshop with John Lyall
Leading NZ artist John Lyall has agreed to hold another of his popular and informative hands-on workshops on Saturday 26 March from 2 - 4pm.
Come and learn how stunning some of our native plants can look as bonsai specimens. The cost is $60, and you'll get three different plants to work on and take home afterwards. You can also read about John and his bonsais in Xanthe White's column in The Listener (February 19 - 25). As this has encouraged considerable interest, it would be wise to contact us soon if you would like to enrol.
The feedback we receive after these classes is amazing, so to find out more, go to: http://www.oratianatives.co.nz/bonsai
Our ‘Photo of the Month' winner for February was Gary with his shot of a very successful Dichondra repens lawn. Who says it's boring watching the grass grow!
As Jennifer commented on the website, "Cool, green and best of all, NO NASTY LAWNMOWER".
Dichondra repens is one of several groundcovers that make a good substitute for grasses in a lawn. Commonly known as Mercury Bay weed or kidney weed, it is a small prostrate herbaceous plant native to many parts of coastal New Zealand. Often occurring in forest, woodlands and grasslands, it also inhabits suburban lawns. The plant has a creeping habit, with roots forming at the nodes. Grown as an immaculate lawn for over 100 years, there is ample practical experience on how to maintain it.
Other lawn alternatives
While Selliera and Dichondra are not strictly grasses, Microlaena stipoides is a true grass that once clothed the forest floor of most of NZ's coastal forests. Microlaena can tolerate a fair degree of foot traffic. It grows graceful stems of about 30 - 50cm if left to its own devices, but it can also be mown if a more trimmed effect is preferred.
Leptinella and Gunnera species are other groundcovers suitable for niche roles in the home garden and in public places.
Rata and Monarchs
NZ Native Forests Restoration Trust needs your help
Our last newsletter referred to the 30th anniversary of the NZ Native Forests Restoration Trust which Geoff has been closely involved with since its inception. This time we are delighted to report the Trust has been chosen to receive the benefits from the sale of a horse. Not just any horse, but a very special horse - BILLY!
Last year's drought may have pleased more people, but this year's rain has certainly pleased our plants. Already we are starting to have orders placed for both early planting and for plant needs later in the year. Placing your orders now means that what you want will be available when you need it.
As we approach the new planting season, we look forward to being able to provide you with great plants and great service.